From building homes to giving food: How UAE firms help communities during Ramadan

Companies are pitching in to uphold the spirit of the holy month and give back to those in need


Nasreen Abdulla

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Volunteer distribute iftar at a Mosque in Dubai during the holy month of Ramadan. KT Photo: Shihab
Volunteer distribute iftar at a Mosque in Dubai during the holy month of Ramadan. KT Photo: Shihab

Published: Wed 20 Mar 2024, 5:24 PM

Last updated: Thu 28 Mar 2024, 1:21 PM

Several UAE companies are stepping up their efforts to support communities during Ramadan. From building houses to providing free meals, organisations are pitching in to uphold the spirit of the holy month and give back to those in need.

Property developer Arada has continued its Home for a Home campaign for the third year. For every home sold at Arada’s communities during Ramadan, a home will be built for internally displaced families in Syria affected by conflict and natural disasters.

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In partnership with Sharjah charity The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) and international NGO Human Concern International (HCI), the initiative will build a fully residential community near the city of Aleppo with crucial facilities, including a school, mosque, clinic, playground and shops.

Each home will be pre-stocked with various items, including blankets and carpets, kitchen utensils, gas oven, washing machine, wardrobe and fridge. At the same time, the school and clinic will also be provided with relevant equipment, including school bags, recreational kits, furniture, stationery, and staff clothing.

Arada's Home for a Home campaign
Arada's Home for a Home campaign

Doing their bit

Education app KITMEK Academy has opened its platform to provide free access to over 1 million children during the month of Ramadan. Students will be able to browse through lessons starting from Kindergarten to Grade 5 in several languages including English, Arabic, Spanish, German, and Russian. From foundational skills in mathematics and literacy to science exploration and creative arts, the app covers a wide spectrum of subjects

Another brand, Being Human Clothing, has teamed up with a charitable organisation to launch a clothing donation drive. Residents can donate their gently used clothes at the brand’s store in City Centre Deira. For every kilogram of clothes donated, the individual will get a Dh25 voucher that can be redeemed at any store. The collected clothes will then be sent to NGOs in India to support their work.

Local company Century Financial launched a 30 days x 30 deeds campaign. In association with entities like Red Crescent, Dubai Health and Smart Life Foundation, amongst others, the organisation has arranged a range of initiatives revolving around financial planning education, food donation, and healthcare.

From donating blood to packing iftar boxes, Century Financial employees participated in a range of activities for the month. The team will also contribute shelter and food for stray dogs throughout the year and participate in beach clean-up activities.

Century Financial employees packing donation boxes
Century Financial employees packing donation boxes

Some local eateries also give food to delivery riders while they work. Dodo Pizza in Dubai Marina gives riders free iftar meal boxes every day from 6 to 9pm and has distributed almost 200 boxes during the first week of Ramadan.

Dodo Pizza
Dodo Pizza

In-app donations

UAE’s delivery platforms encourage customers to donate money for their purchases during Ramadan. Deliveroo’s in-app roundup feature allows customers to round up their orders or select an amount they choose to donate at checkout. All donations go to the Emirates Red Crescent to support communities in need across the region. In 2023, Deliveroo customers donated over Dh1 million using the roundup feature.

Deliveroo’s full life social experiment
Deliveroo’s full life social experiment

Last week, the company conducted a social experiment titled ‘The Unmissable 50 Fils’ to showcase the significant impact of nominal donations and encourage the community to support its ongoing campaign to tackle food insecurity. The tech-infused social experiment unfolded with a hologram designed to attract the attention of individuals passing through City Walk.

Talabat UAE also allows its customers to contribute to its trusted local, regional, and global charity partners through their app during Ramadan. Over the past few years, Talabat UAE has facilitated the donation of over Dh3 million during Ramadan alone. This year, customers can donate directly through the app to charities such as Ramadan Heroes, Beit Al Khair, Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Initiatives (MBRGI), and Dubai Cares.


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